EVMs ensure proper voting, show correct numbers: Ajit Pawar

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Nashik, Feb 10 (PTI) Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Wednesday said Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) ensure proper polling and show correct numbers which he attributed to his personal experience as a contestant in the state Assembly polls held in the past.

Comments of Ajit Pawar, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, appeared to be at variance with the party's stand on the EVMs.

Speaking at a press conference here, Ajit Pawar sarcastically said the EVM provides for 'an opportunity to the candidates who get routed in elections or for their parties to cite tampering of the machine as the cause for the electoral defeat'.

'I too have contested six to seven polls...it (the EVM) ensures proper polling and shows proper numbers,' said Ajit Pawar, who represents Baramati Assembly segment, and also holds Finance portfolio.

He was responding to a question on the ongoing discussion on the use of ballot papers in future polls in Maharashtra along with the EVMs.

He had won the 2019 Assembly polls from the family bastion of the Pawars in Pune district with a huge margin of 1.65 lakh votes.

The deputy CM also noted that elections, including those for Lok Sabha and the state Assembly, are already held using the EVMs.

Before resigning recently, then Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Nana Patole had asked the state legislature to frame a law to give voters the option of using ballot papers besides EVMs in the local governing bodies' and state Assembly polls.

The NCP had then said that those winning elections due to the EVMs will be defeated if polling for the 2024 Maharashtra Assembly polls is held using ballot papers only.

When asked whether the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will explore the option of approaching court if state governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari fails to take a decision on appointing MLCs on 12 seats, Ajit Pawar said, 'I think the governor will not let that time to come'.

He said these names were sent to the governor by observing rules.

The state government in November last year recommended 12 names to the governor for nomination as MLCs. The decision on the same is still pending. PTI ENM NSK NSK